I will be the first to admit: I know almost nothing about men. This is becoming an issue for me.
I’m serious. The male mind is a vast cavern of undiscovered wonder. Thought patterns that seem logical to me baffle my manly counterparts and those they find reasonable might as well be the ramblings of an asylum resident. I just don’t understand them. Strictly speaking, I don’t really understand girls either, but my biological predisposition lends me at least a bit of insight there.
Here’s one thing I do know; men are easily broken and women are profoundly accomplished at breaking them.
We have a super power, ladies. We have the ability to undermine our men with lightening speed and razor-sharp accuracy. We can get straight to their soft spots and plant seeds of doubt and insecurity and inadequacy. We fight with our words which might as well be piercing darts. And it’s so easy.
You see it all the time on television and in movies; the bumbling idiot husband who is knocked down to size by his overbearing wife. Jokes about who “wears the pants” in a relationship emasculate men beyond recognition. Ask any teacher and you’ll hear horror stories of mothers taking their husbands to task over the children. Being a man, a real man, is hard. I’ve never tried, but I’ve seen that job and I don’t want it. There is a pressure to provide, a pressure to perform, a pressure to be all things to all people. Men are told that if they can’t give their families the biggest houses and the shiniest cars that they aren’t worth anything. So-called “role models” of media paint men as either philanderers or absentee fathers who couldn’t care less about their families if they tried.
It’s horrible and it’s cruel and it has to stop.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The superpower can be used for growth instead of destruction. It isn’t as easy, but those same soft spots that are easy to attack can be edified, encouraged, reassured. Instead of breaking down with criticism, it is within our power to build up our men to be the kind of people we know they are capable of being. I’m not asking you to change your man (in fact, for your sanity and mine, please don’t try), but I believe that a woman who encourages her man will be richly rewarded as she gets to experience the full breath of his character.
It is not a sign of weakness to build him up, it is a marker of your strength.